Monday, January 17, 2011

In some circumstances I might agree...

January 16, 2011

Comment: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information

McIntyre, Joshua J., The Number is Me: Why Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses Should Be Protected as Personally Identifiable Information (August 15, 2010). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2011.

  • "Although computer logs typically correlate online activity only to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, those addresses can be used to expose the individuals behind the computers. While various federal statutes protect similar data, such as telephone numbers and mailing addresses, as Personally Identifiable Information, federal privacy law does not sufficiently protect IP addresses. It has become commonplace for litigants to subpoena Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to unmask online speakers, and, because many ISPs have no reason to fight these subpoenas, they readily give up their subscribers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other identifying data without demanding any court oversight or providing any notice to those identified. Left unchecked, such reporting could undermine free speech and the free exchange of ideas by encouraging users to censor their own online conduct. This Comment explores the possibility of protecting the IP address itself as Personally Identifiable Information (PII). It explores the various definitions of PII and the relevant technical aspects of IP addressing. It concludes that, despite some technical shortcomings, IP addresses are functionally similar to other types of PII and should be similarly protected in order to protect online privacy."

Would this still be a crime if “acceptable use” could change without notice?

Breaching an AUP a Crime In Western Australia

"A recent court case highlights that breaching an acceptable use policy at work could land you in court in Western Australia: a police officer doing a search of the police database for a friend was fined — not for disclosing confidential police information, but for unlawful use of a 'restricted-access computer system' — cracking. More worryingly for West Australians, this legal blog points out that breaching any Acceptable Use Policy would seem to be enough to land you in jail for cracking — for example, using your internet connection to break copyright."

(Related) How about repeatedly changing how your private information is shared?

Facebook Now Shares Phone Number & Address With Third-Party Apps

Facebook recently announced on its developer blog that it will now be "making a user's address and mobile phone number accessible as part of the User Graph object." In other words, the site will now let third-party applications (think Farmville or that spammy app your friends keep falling for that promises to show them who is stalking them on Facebook) access your contact information.

"Because this is sensitive information," reads the announcement, "[...]permissions must be explicitly granted to your application by the user via our standard permissions dialogs." Take a look at the xample permission dialogs box, however, and tell us if you think this is enough.

Cyber Revolution a la Twitter? “The Twits are coming! The Twits are coming!”

Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution: Spreading Fear Among Arab Dictators

(Related) How could you know if they are coming for you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Use Twitter's Advanced Search Options

First, this is not one of those "Twitter will save education" posts. That said, Twitter can be useful for finding resources that can help you as a teacher. The first step in using Twitter is to develop a nice network of people that you interact with, commonly referred to as a personal learning network or PLN. Here are eight ways to develop a PLN. Once you develop a PLN you have a great place to ask questions and share resources. But even then sometimes you won't get quite what you're seeking. In those cases you can turn to Twitter Advanced Search to see what people outside of your PLN have to offer.

Mashable recently produced a video demonstrating how to use Twitter Advanced Search. This three minute video covers what you need to know in order to take advantage of all the information shared on Twitter.

What do I tell my wife when thousands of women start calling for a date? (Fortunately, she will easily believe they are confusing me with someone else...)

Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records

"Online dating company Gotham Dating Partners has announced plans to create profiles for non-registered individuals based on publicly available information from social networking sites, e-mail registries, mailing lists, marketing surveys, government census records, real estate listings and business websites. Although the Australian Privacy Commissioner has warned that the automatic creation of identifiable profiles of individuals without their knowledge is 'not good privacy practice,' Gotham Dating Partners does not expect to face any privacy issues from the move, which is expected to boost its membership from 6.5 million to 340 million worldwide."

For my Statistics students. What percentage of students have mental health problems?

New Study Links Video Games and Mental Problems

"A new study published today in Pediatrics Journal conducted in Singapore on three thousand children in grades third, fourth, seventh and eighth claims that one in ten are video game addicts and almost all of those suffer mental health problems. This comes conveniently after the suspect in the Tucson shooting has widely been reported as an online gamer. Among the accusations from the study are that playing video games leads to lower school performance and fewer social skills while exacerbating existing depression, anxiety and social phobias. Gamasutra reports that the Entertainment Software Alliance is already criticizing this study saying 'Its definition of 'pathological gaming' is neither scientifically nor medically accepted and the type of measure used has been criticized by other scholars. Other outcomes are also measured using dubious instruments when well-validated tools are readily available. In addition, because the effect sizes of the outcomes are mainly trivial, it leaves open the possibility the author is simply interpreting things as negatively as possible.' It seems that the doctors are still disagreeing on whether or not gaming causes problems."

For my Ethical Hackers: Why take public transportation when you can drive a Lexus?

Car Theft by Antenna

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